By Col Tughral Bashir, Retd (50 PMA)
Back in 1981/82, I was posted in 4 Avn Sqn at Qasim Army Avn Base, Dhamial, Rawalpindi. My CO was Lt Col (later Maj Gen) Razzaq. One of the pilots in the Sqn was told by other pilots, before going for an out station mission with the CO, that at times the CO used hand signals instead of speaking when he wanted the co-pilot to turn or do some manoeuvre”.
With this pre-conceived idea, the officer got onto the co-pilot seat of MI-8 helicopter and took off having set the bearing for the next check point.
A few minutes after take off, Col Razzaq put his hand in the leather hand-hold above the side window and tuned on to Radio Pakistan. After some time he moved his hand a bit to the right and the co-pilot turned right by some degrees. Again after sometime he moved his hand to the left, the co-pilot turned the chopper to the left. Having done that 4/5 times, he went way off course and got the due treatment from CO.
On return, in the mission debrief in Crew Room, it was revealed that the hand movement was with the music of the song from Radio Pakistan which was acted upon very efficiently by the co-pilot on the controls.
Those were the enjoyable golden days in the Army!!
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